By Alan C. L. Yu
This e-book provides the 1st cross-linguistic research of the phenomenon of infixation, mostly linked in English with phrases like "im-bloody-possible", and located in the entire world's significant linguistic households. Infixation is a primary puzzle in prosodic morphology: Professor Yu explores its prosodic, phonological, and morphological features, considers its various features, and formulates a normal thought to provide an explanation for the principles and constraints in which it's ruled. He examines 154 infixation styles from over 100 languages, together with examples from Asia, Europe, Africa, New Guinea, and South the USA. He compares the formal homes of alternative sorts of infix, explores the diversity of diachronic pathways that result in them, and considers the techniques wherein they're got in first language studying. A principal argument of the booklet issues the concept the typological trends of language can be traced again to its origins and to the mechanisms of language transmission. The ebook therefore combines the heritage of infixation with an exploration of the function diachronic and practical components play in synchronic argumentation: it really is an exemplary example of the holistic method of linguistic explanation.Alan Yu's pioneering learn will curiosity phonologists and morphologists of all theoretical persuasions, in addition to typologists and historic linguists.
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Extra resources for A Natural History of Infixation (Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics)
Hm˛u? ‘soak’ skziap kmziap ‘catch’ sbil smbil ‘leave behind’ While the need to refer to sub-prosodic units remains controversial in the phonological literature, suggestive supportive evidence abounds. For example, in speech-error studies, many have found that consonants and vowels within words are often exchangeable. (46) a. Consonantal exchange (Fromkin 1980) Error (target) my hetter baV (My better half) The Folden Gleece award (The Golden Fleece award) b. Vocalic exchange (Shattuck-Hufnagel 1986) f[i]t the b[U]ll (foot the bill) st[I]rred the sh[i]p (steered the ship) al[i]minum an’ st[u]l (aluminum an’ steel) ch[i]ps ‘n tw[Û]ts (chirps ’n tweets) Such an independent awareness of consonants from vowels is also observed in poetic devices such as alliteration and assonance.
Formally, this intuition is captured by the constraint-ranking schema, P >> M, one of the three basic tenets of Prosodic Morphology within Optimality Theory. (29) Prosodic Morphology within OT (McCarthy and Prince 1993b: 110) a. Prosodic Morphology Hypothesis Templates are constraints on the prosody/morphology interface, asserting the coincidence of morphological and prosodic constituent. b. Template Satisfaction Condition Templatic constraints may be undominated, in which case they are satisWed fully, or they may be dominated, in which case they are violated minimally, in accordance with general principles of Optimality Theory.
30 What is inWxation? However, recent work on the positional markedness eVects of retroXexion (Steriade 1995) has demonstrated that retroXexion is perceptually most salient in post-vocalic positions. Thus, the ‘migration’ of [ì] to post-consonantal position only endangers the identiWcation of the retroXex feature, rather than enhancing it. What the Leti and Pingding cases illustrate is that inWxation can occur for no obvious prosodic or phonotactic gains. The optimization approach oVers us no insight as to why such inWxation patterns exist at all.